Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Berliner and Berliner

This is fucking ridiculous. This time last year I was three days off boarding my flight HOME FROM Europe, and here I am a year later still trying to flog out my travel recaps. Just do it B - fuck's sake.

19 January '12
Travelling by train is so typically European... I love it and in winter it's an awesome way to get around. Both times I've hit up Europe I've been in possession of a Eurail Pass (this will save you so much cash, but you need to get your hands on it prior to your departure from Australia). My longest single train trip to date was from Amsterdam to Oslo on a 24hr sojourn by sleeper. That was when I was 10, and at the time I didn't realise how remarkable it is that the train gets onto a ferry electronically in order to cross the waters to Norway.

This time was different because I was travelling through Germany by myself and I had to change at a couple of smaller local stations to get the best travelling time. In Germany, they make much less of an effort to accomodate those who don't know the language... I really love this about anywhere I travel to, but I did wig out a little bit when I couldn't find platform 3 with two minutes remaining to change - those trains are immaculately to schedule at all times too. You become a master at sign language and sweet talking big German women - turns out platform 3 didn't exist.

I got to Berlin around 7pm and caught the bus to my hostel. I knew it was the right one because, when the driver couldn't comprehend whether my stop was on his line, I stood up the front and quite shamelessly pronounced the name of my junction very loudly - and with quite the impressive german accent I might add - hoping someone would notice and confirm that the bus was going to go there. One guy did, so job done. I'm not going to lie - I was proud to arrive again unscathed, without a phone or the time.

Hard stuff done! The hostel I had picked was called Circus and was the raddest hostel I've ever stayed in ever. The boy at the desk was a loveheart. And there was a LIFT. Always one to watch out for. Upon entering my dorm, I was pleased to meet two boy roomates - one my age from Sweden, and the other a bit older but from Brisbane. I renamed the Swedish guy Crackfox (affectionately of course), and the guy from Queensland... well, Brisbane (I tend to do this when overseas and with expats).

Two hours later I had accepted a challenge to try every cocktail featured on the menu in the bar downstairs, and together with Martina (London/Italy) and Nick (Utah, USA), we were well on our way to the kind of all-nighter oblivion I'm sure many of you have experienced in Berlin.

That night stays on the camera. You'd have to beat me with a stick to see those photos.

Anyway, the next day we did the obligatory walking tour. I cried twice. It was amazing and I collapsed into bed that night after what I still think was one of the most emotionally charging days of my life. The best things in life are free, right?

I don't know when the boys turned up - all I know is I had three really big nights - topped off by the infamous Berghain. I can't describe it anywhere near as well as this guy did. FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

All too soon it's time I left Berlin (and time YOU went there), on an overnight train bound for Switzerland this time... got on it with an oversized, red-haired Australian boy who was friends of a friend my boys met up with sometime, and who - out of sheer luck - was intending to at least make it to Basil on the same night. I hadn't been looking forward to paying 100 Euros for a private sleeper cabin, and in the end only had to split the bill. Cool how the world works!